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University's plane kept at bus parking lot, audit reveals

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AUDIT REPORT A local public university had purchased an aircraft in 2011 but faced budget constraints to build a proper hangar, an audit found.

The Auditor-General’s Report 2015 stated that Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) had awarded Global Aerospace Sdn Bhd with a RM915,335 contract to supply a Lear Jet 24 series serviceable aircraft, for use by students from its Aeronautical Engineering faculty.

“An audit visit on Sept 9 and Oct 20 last year found that the aircraft was parked under improper conditions and did not meet safety requirements. A bus parking lot was modified to become a hangar to park the aircraft.

“Based on its original plans, the aircraft was supposed to be parked at a location in Tanjung Laboh, with a runway and a proper hangar,” the report said.

The plans, however, never took off due to budgetary constraints.

The report further raised concerns that the current makeshift hangar could impact the teaching and learning process.

In its response, UTHM said the cabinet had in 2013 approved plans to build a permanent hangar but so far there has been no budget allocated for the project.

Separately, the audit also found that UTHM had in April 2013 appointed Kosmo Setegas Sdn Bhd as the contractor to build a staff training and students activity centre in Tanjung Laboh, at a cost of RM11.84 million.

The project was supposed to start on June 1, 2013, and the completion deadline was set for Nov 22, 2014.

As of the audit conducted on Oct 21 last year, it was found that the project was only 82.7 percent completed with total payments made amounting to RM6.71 million.

It was further stated that the contractor had so far requested three extensions to the original deadline.

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